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Full text of "A history of Persia"

206                   HISTORY OF PERSIA                  CHAP.
At the beginning of the following year he advanced
on Khorramabad and Shuster, attacking and capturing the
Kala Sufid, celebrated for its connexion with Rustam, who
obtained possession of it by a ruse.1 He then marched
on Shiraz, where to his astonishment his army, 30,000
strong, was charged by Shah Mansur, Prince of the
Muzaffar dynasty, at the head of a body of 4000 armour-
clad horsemen. Sharaf-u-Din, who was present at this
engagement, gives the following spirited account: a Shah
Mansur advanced at their head like a furious lion, and in
opposition to his reason, which should have preserved in
his mind a suitable idea of the person he had to do with.
On a Friday, at the hour of prayer, he attacked our main
body, composed of 30,000 Turks, the most dexterous
men of their time, in a place named Patila : he however
overthrew their squadrons, broke their ranks, made his
way into the midst of them, and gained posts of the
utmost consequence behind our army. Then he returned,
furious as a dragon, to the fight, seeming resolved to
lose his life. Timur stopped short with some of his
favourites to consider the extreme vigour, or rather rash-
ness, of this prince, who dared to attack him in person.
Timur, seeing him come directly against him, would have
armed himself with his lance to oppose him, but he could
not find it, because Poulad Choura, the keeper of it, had
been so vigorously attacked that he had fled and carried
away the lance. Timur, who had only fourteen or fifteen
persons with him, did not stir out of his place till Shah
Mansur came up to him. This rash person struck the
Emperor's helmet twice with his scimitar ; but the blows
did no harm, for they glanced along his arms : he kept
firm as a rock, and did not change his posture/'
The Prince was not properly supported in his gallant
charge. The two wings of his small force fled, and,
surrounded by enemies, he was slain by Shah Rukh, the
celebrated son of Tamerlane, who cast his head at his sire's
feet, exclaiming, " May the heads of all thy enemies be
laid at thy feet as the head of the proud Mansur ! " As
recorded in the last chapter, this exploit of arms sealed the
1 Vidt Malcolm, oj>. cit. p. 27.